OWNERSHIP, SALE AHD PURCHASE OP
THE persons who are entitled to own a British ship are
British born subjects carrying on business in British
countries, naturalized subjects who cany out their business
in British countries, and corporate bodies whose principal
place of business is the United Kingdom or a British
A British ship is a vessel flying the British flag, and in
passing, a brief outline of the "Law of the Flag" may assist
the reader. Under the law of the flag a vessel becomes part
of the country whose flag she is flying, and the conduct of
the affairs on board is governed by the laws of that country.
When, however, a vessel enters the waters of a foreign
power she is bound to conform to the laws of the country in
whose waters she is.
The members of the crew are subject to the laws of the
country under whose flag the ship is sailing, and are not in
any way controlled by the laws of the country of which
they are subjects.
The ownership of a vessel is divided by ancient custom
into sixty-fourths, a division which is recognized in law by
its inclusion in Sect. 5 of the Merchant Shipping Act,
A vessel may not be registered in more than 64 names,
and where a limited company is an owner it is registered
under its corporate name and not the names of its individual
All ships must be registered, excluding small vessels of
under fifteen tons burden employed in river or coastal trade,
or ships under thirty tons burden employed for fishing or
trading on the shores of Newfoundland.
Before being registered every ship must have its name
marked upon the bows, its name and port of registry on the